26 May 2022


Operant Conditioning and Multiple Intelligence Theories

Format: APA

Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 1164

Pages: 4

Downloads: 0

Part A 

Explanation for Problem 

Smoking is a habit that exists in a significant number of the global population. On the global scale, nearly 1.1 billion people practice the habit or ⅓ of the adult population. The most appropriate explanation for the existence of this problem is social learning. The majority of smokers develop the habit primarily due to the influence of social settings. Some cultural rituals around the world promote smoking tobacco among adults especially the men in the community (Brewer, Elwafi, & Davis, 2013). In the modernized settings, individuals will usually engage in smoking while offering or sharing a cigarette with another. This practice is used merely as a means of striking up a friendly conversation with a stranger particularly in night clubs and even public smoking areas. Also, the individual smoker who may do so on the streets will light up a cigarette to avoid looking idle (Brewer, Elwafi, & Davis, 2013). Many of the habitual smokers started off the habit while they were in their adolescent years. It marked a transition from childhood to adulthood. However, there are those who use smoking merely as camaraderie whereby offering a cigarette or a packet of them to another significantly raises dopamine levels in the brain. 

Reason for Changing Behavior and Benefit 

Despite the attempt by individuals to greatly improve their social image using smoking, research has shown that the behavior is very harmful to their health. Approximately 480,000 deaths in the US are directly related to smoking. This occurrence means that one in every five deaths that in America are associated with tobacco consumption (Brewer, Elwafi, & Davis, 2013). In addition to this, its impact on the health of civilians is far more severe than many other health conditions including HIV, illegal drug abuse, alcohol consumption, car accident and firearm related injuries combined. Despite the US being involved in many wars and subsequently leading to many deaths, smoking causes premature deaths ten times more than all those who have ever died from the conflicts (Brewer, Elwafi, & Davis, 2013). Out of the 10 cases of lung cancer deaths, 9 of them are a result of smoking. Changing this behavior is likely to bring numerous health benefits that improve the quality of life for the individual. One of the health benefits may relate to both men and women who smoke whereby quitting smoking enhances the fertility of the individual. The lining of the uterus is improved and becomes more receptive to the fertilized egg. The male sperm becomes more potent after quitting smoking than before. As a result, a couple may find it easier to get pregnant, and there is less likelihood of having a miscarriage. 

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Program for Modifying the Behavior 

In amending the act of smoking, operant conditioning is depicted as a useful learning tool that uses rewards and punishments to increase desired behavior while the undesired behavior is eliminated. In the case of smoking, if only punishment or rewards are occasionally used for the unwanted and desired behavior respectively, it will take much longer for the change to take place. There are four major techniques of implementing operant conditioning to increase and decrease behavior. There is the positive and negative reinforcement for increasing behavior through positive and negative stimuli. On the other hand, there is a response cost and punishment for decreasing behavior using positive and negative incentives. 

The first step will include stimulus discrimination or generalization whereby the importance of context is emphasized. In this case, the learning takes place in context hence the need to avoid areas where one is likely to engage in smoking including friends who smoke. When the environment cannot be avoided like the smoking zone at work, reinforcements are used to influence proper grasping response. A contingency contract may be utilized where the smoker makes an agreement with a friend, family or spouse with a clear stipulation of rewards and consequences for smoking and the alternative. In cases when the desired behavior is presented the award is given immediately. When the response is contrary, an immediate punishment is given. The final step is establishing a schedule of reinforcement using fixed or variable interval schedule. 

Part B 

Linguistic or verbal-linguistic intelligence involves a person’s ability to analyze information through written or spoken words (Strauss, 2013). Therefore, to test this intelligence one would have to provide the person with a series of words that relate to different topics. The participant would have to present a debate on a randomly selected topic and use some of the words that are given on the list as they relate to the topic. This test would challenge the individual to understand the difference between the words and the meanings they give along with how to correctly pronounce them. 

Intrapersonal intelligence identifies the individual’s ability to recognize and assess personal motivations, desires, moods, and intentions (Strauss, 2013). The test provided to participants will look into an understanding of these different areas. For instance, a student may be asked to identify their short-term goals for the semester in their academic work. The interviewer will have to follow up to assess whether the desired goals are realized within the determined period. 

Interpersonal intelligence looks into the one’s ability to recognize the similar traits in other people (Strauss, 2013). This test will require a systematic approach as it involves grouping participants. In a school setting, students can be divided into groups with each one given an opportunity to lead the team either in sports, school work or other extra-curricular activities. A record of the activity should be made to identify the performance of each one of them. 

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence involves the individual’s ability to control body motions and ability to handle objects with skill. Therefore, the test may require a varied array where a sense of timing or the goal for a given physical activity and may also include training responses is the observed outcome (Strauss, 2013). The participants may be presented with as dance routine where emulation can effectively show their bodily-kinesthetic intelligence. Alternatively, football drills can be given as a test for the same. 

Musical intelligence involves a person’s ability to master rhythms, pitch, and timber through its production and appreciation (Strauss, 2013). Individuals who have this sensitivity can compose music, play instruments, and sing. In this case, though some training may be required for the participant of the test, he or she will be required to present a music piece through singing or playing an instrument that they have mastered. Singing may be assessed by accurately producing the necessary notes of a particular song. 

Spatial or visual-spatial intelligence refers to the ability to think and comprehend information through images and graphical dimensions. Such an individual can accurately visualize an event or situation abstractly (Strauss, 2013). A psychologist may use spatial testing to help a client with a learning disability. The individual will receive a series of pictures and matched with words explaining the action or object presented. Some students learn better when they are presented with a visual presentation. 

Naturalist intelligence involves a person’s ability to adequately recognize flora and fauna among other consequential differences in the natural world (Strauss, 2013). The individual with a mastery of this intelligence can use the ability productively through hunting or farming among other biological sciences. Testing will involve requiring participants to grow a particular plant and take care of it as is required. 

Logical-mathematical intelligence means an individual’s ability to use logic, reasoning, critical thinking, abstractions and numbers (Strauss, 2013). Such an individual can detect patterns and perform mathematical calculations. Therefore, the appropriate testing may include requiring individuals to develop strategies to achieve a particular goal or solve a present problem. Alternatively, one can be required to perform a mental mathematical calculation. 


Brewer, J. A., Elwafi, H. M., & Davis, J. H. (2013). Craving to quit: Psychological models and neurobiological mechanisms of mindfulness training as treatment for addictions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors , 27(2), 366-379. 

Strauss, V. (2013, Oct 16) Howard Gardner: ‘Multiple intelligences’ are not ‘learning styles’ . The Washington Post, Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2013/10/16/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-are-not-learning-styles/?utm_term=.5d4c602b6c37 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Operant Conditioning and Multiple Intelligence Theories.


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